6/20/17

Summer TBR!

I also had one book from my spring list that I didn't get to (The Girl at Midnight) and I'm currently reading Burn, but will complete it soon.  Our summer weather has been all over the place (hot and sunny one day, cold and rainy the next) so my reading tastes are a bit all over the map.  Even if I don't read these precise books, my focus this summer will be on the books that I had originally planned to read this year, with a specific focus on series.

1. A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
Out of all of the books on my Kobo, this book has been calling to me lately.  It's on the list of 17 books that I had planned to read this year.

2. The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall
I tried to read this a month or so ago, but put it aside.  I'm not 100% sure that I'll enjoy this, so I may end up DNFing it, but I have to give it a try this summer.

3. Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This is the next in a series on my TBR, but I think it would be an easy, summery read.

4. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
I have a plan for reading this book in bite size chunks throughout July.  I'll write a full length post on this at some point, but this strategy has been working well for motivating me to read intimidating books lately.

5. ARCs
Another of my big (and lofty) summer goals is to catch up with my ARCs.  I have two books that I have read and not reviewed, one that I'm about to finish, and one long-expired ARC that I still haven't read.  I also have six fall e-galleys to read.  At the bare minimum, I would like to catch up with my ARCs, but it would also be lovely to read ahead.  I've got big dreams.

How about you?  What's on your summer TBR?  Let me know in the comments below =)

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6/16/17

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag - Round 2

I did this tag last year, and saw it popping up all over BookTube again, so thought I'd join in the fun with a 2017 version!  The tag was originally created by ReadLikeWildfire (see her video here) and Ely Jane (see her video here).

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017. 
Everyone's going to say this, so I'm going to pick the two most popular answers to this question: A Court of Wings and Ruin and A Conjuring of Light.  There, I said it; however, they're both just PERFECT SERIES ENDERS.  PURE PERFECTION.

2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2017.
Ha ha ha, see above!  Clearly I should have read the questions through first before I started answering.

3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to.

I still have The Names They Gave Us, Once and For All, Strange the Dreamer, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and Always and Forever, Lara Jean to read!  This time last year, I only had one unread new release ... umm, OOPS?

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo in September.  I'm also excited for Renegades by Marissa Meyer and Warcross by Marie Lu, but I'm not a fan of the covers for both books, which has reduced my enthusiasm for both.  Of course, there's also Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas but I haven't read Empire of Storms yet (I know, I know!) so that's also reduced my enthusiasm.

5. Biggest disappointment.

The Bane Chronicles.  I love Magnus Bane's character, but this series of novellas about his character was just meh.  It made a mindless project at work a little more bearable with this book on audio, but other than that I was very underwhelmed.

6. Biggest surprise.

The Hate U Give.  As soon as I saw that Jamie @ The Perpetula Page-Turner had loved it, I downloaded an e-galley.  I knew that I would love it too, but the surprise for me was that I loved it that much.  It blew me away.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

V.E. Schwab.  I DEVOURED the Darker Shades of Magic series.  Absolutely DEVOURED.  I loved it so much that I'm tempted to try This Savage Song.  The premise sounds intriguing, but I've heard others say that the either love her adult books, or her young adult books, but people rarely love both.  So I think I might just stick with her adult books.  BUT I loved the series so much that I also wonder if I might be part of the small group that loves all of her books.  So conflicted.

8. Newest fictional crush.

I'm not much of a book boyfriend kind of girl, so can I just pick Rhysand again this year?

9. Newest favourite character.

Lila Bard.  Hands down, no question.

10. Book that made you cry.
LORD OF SHADOWS.  It's been two weeks since I finished that book, and I'm still not okay.

11. Book that made you happy.
Although graphic novels aren't my favourite thing, it did make me happy to have a little bit more time in the Lunar Chronicles' world.  And Iko.  More Iko is happiness inducing.

12. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received)
Strange the Dreamer.  Maybe because I also know that Laini's beautiful writing awaits inside those gorgeous covers.

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
OH MY GOSH.  So many.  In order to finish the 17 books that I had planned to read, I still need to read The bone Season, Empire of Storms, Unraveling, Burn, Graceling, Shataram, The Girl at Midnight, A Man Called Ove, The Gammage Cup, Robber Bride and a Brandon Sanderson book.  And I've only read two of the ten series that I had planned to read this year, which still leaves the Lux series, the Throne of Glass series, the Magyk series, the Unwind dystology, the Everneath trilogy, the All Souls Trilogy, His Dark Assassins trilogy and the Pure trilogy.  I'm currently reading Burn, which will knock one of each list (hurrah!)  But that would still leave a total of 31 books to read!  Considering I've already read 41 books, it's possible!

Although the questions don't actually ask me to tag anyone, I'm gonna do it anyways, because I'm crazy like that.  I tag Jessica @ Novel Cravings and Lauren @ Lose Time Reading.

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5/31/17

May Wrap-up!

Let me not even start on how quickly May disappeared, and marvel at the fact that SUMMER is nearly here.  SUMMERTIME PEOPLE.  Wasn't it just Christmas last week?

The Books

Books Read: 5 (The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules, A Court of Wings and Ruin, Crown of Midnight, Lady Midnight, Milk and Honey)
Again, less books than last month, but two of them were long reads, and I enjoyed taking my time with both of them.

Books Acquired: 3 (A Court of Wings and Ruin, The Names They Gave Us, Lord of Shadows)
So many good books came out in May, and I'm so happy to have these three on my shelves.

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +14 (ACOWAR and Crown of Midnight)
TBR Challenge: +1 (Lady Midnight)
Flights of Fantasy: +3 (ACOWAR, Crown of Midnight, Lady Midnight)

The Blog

This is actually the first and last post of this month!  I unintentionally took a month off of blogging, and I think it was a needed break.  I'm slowly feeling like I'm ready to jump back into it, but we'll just see where things go after this post.  I'm looking forward to reading some good books next year (currently reading Lord of Shadows, and I think I'm off to a good start) and slowly climbing back aboard the blogging train.

 The Other Stuff

May feels like it was really busy, but now I'm struggling to remember exactly what made it so busy. We had my in-laws visit at the beginning of May, when my niece and nephew were baptized.  It was a fun, family-filled week, but it was also nice to have our house back to ourselves after everyone went home again.  Then, for the Victoria day long weekend, we went to the Island to visit my family.  Again, a lovely weekend, but it's just as tiring to be away from home as it is to have people visiting.  I'm such an introvert =P  I like the time with family, but I also need that time to recharge from all the craziness.

We all came down with a summer cold, and I used my first official sick day.  My previous job didn't have sick days, so I'd drag myself in feeling like crap, or have to use a vacation day if I wanted to be paid for staying at home.  There's no legislation in British Columbia to require employers to provide sick days, but many choose to do so as a courtesy to their employees.  Honestly, it was lovely to be able to take the time to catch up on some much needed rest, and I felt SO MUCH better the next day.  Generally, it would take me a week or so to really get over a cold since it would linger, but I honestly felt like I kicked it in a day, since I had the time to rest and recover.  Sick days really should be part of our minimum employment standards, like minimum wage and maternity leave.  I'm so grateful for this new job, since I know in my heart that I already have a better work-life balance than I've ever had before.

The weather has been cold and rainy ALL SPRING so far, but it just warmed up last week and got HOT.  We've had 25ish degrees for the past week, and my body is already craving fall.  We haven't busted out the A/C just yet, but I have a feeling that day is not too far down the road.  Plus, I'm already itching to start planning my summer TBR list.  Anyone else get that itch as soon as the weather gets warmer?  I do the same thing as summer nights start to get colder, imagining which books I'll be reading when I get my Snuggie back out, which books I'll be reading by the fireplace in wintertime, and then which books I imagine reading next year.  I'm always planning for the next season =)

How about you?  Anything exciting happen to you in May?  Let me know if you've read something amazing so far this year and if you're planning your summer TBR too!  Thank you for stopping by =)

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4/28/17

April Wrap-up!


I start to feel like a bit of a broken record ... but seriously, how is April over already?

The Books

Books Read: 6 (A Gathering of Shadows, A Conjuring of Light, The Glass Arrow, The Bane Chronicles, Throne of Glass and The Midnight Star)
This seems like a much smaller number than last month; however, I participated in Tome Topple, and two of these books were over 500 pages, so I'm pretty proud of myself.  At the time of writing and scheduling this post, I'm not quite finished The Midnight Star, but I'm 99% sure that I'll have it done by the 30th.

Books Acquired: 8 (The Anne of Green Gables series)
I've been craving a re-read of this series for a while now.  I read the first few when I was younger, but never continued all the way through the series.  If not this year, then I will definitely make this a new year's resolution for next year.

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +28 (finished two series!)
TBR Challenge: +3 (The Bane Chronicles, The Glass Arrow and The Midnight Star)
Flights of Fantasy: +5 (all except The Glass Arrow, it was a good fantasy month!)

The Blog

Another quiet month on the blog -- just a few reviews shared, and my Tome Topple post.  I think I've been in a bit of  a blogging slump, and lacking focus with what I want to write on here.  I'm going to do some deep thinking in May and see what comes next.

 The Other Stuff

I started my new job on April 3rd and I am loving it so far.  In previous jobs, I've always been tossed into the workload, and just learned as I went along.  This company had a very formal training program set out for me, with lots of time to read and learn and explore before starting with my real work.  It was a refreshing change to be able to take the time to learn, but I'm also super excited to start doing my actual job.  My team members are all really nice and welcoming, and I am incredibly grateful that this change has worked out so well.

Our bathroom renos finally wrapped up on the Easter long weekend, and we've spent a ton of time cleaning and organizing and getting the house put back together.  And, of course, a couple more trips to Ikea for a few more things.  Finally, I think we're almost done with purchases and renos (with the exception of a reading armchair for me).  And just in time as it appears that the warmer spring weather is approaching!  We've been to a few local parks and explored some trails, and I cannot wait to spend more time outdoors this summer.  Here's a photo of Cliff Falls, a beautiful waterfall that we just stumbled across a couple of weeks ago.


How about you?  How was your April?  Let me know if you've read something amazing so far this year!  Thank you for stopping by =)

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4/26/17

Tome Topple Wrap-up

Tome Topple was hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes.  This challenge wrapped up last Friday, April 21st, but I've been lazy about posting my wrap-up!

CHALLENGES: 
1. Read more than 1 tome
2. Read a graphic novel 
3. Read a tome that's part of a series
4. Buddy read a tome 
5. Read an adult novel

I started A Gathering of Storms before the readathon started, but finished it a few days into the readathon.  Then, I read and finished A Conjuring of Light, which was over 600 pages!  So, technically, I completed three challenges: I read more than one tome, read a tome that was part of a series, and read an adult novel.  I'm pretty proud of myself for finishing the entire series this year though (pats self on back).  I'm already looking forward to the next round of this readathon!

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4/18/17

Fireworks - Katie Cotugno

I
I loved Katie Cotugno's debut novel, How to Love, and really enjoyed her second novel, 99 Days.  While I enjoyed Fireworks, there were a few things that fell flat for me.

The story follows Dana and Olivia, two best friends.  Olivia has her sights set on being a singing star, while Dana is waiting tables in their hometown.  When Olivia heads to an audition, Dana decides to tag along and ends up getting cast in a girl group alongside her best friend.

First, the things that I liked.  The book is set in the 1990s, so there were a lot of elements of my own teen years that I could identify with.  Dana's character development was also incredibly strong, as she struggled with her alcoholic mother and her feeling of entrapment in her hometown.

Unfortunately, the friendship between Dana and Olivia fell flat for me, and I found Olivia to be quite annoying and immature.  The whole idea of one friend being famous and another being along for the ride was very reminiscent of Emery Lord's Open Road Summer, but ORS handled the friendship better than this book did.  The book also addressed eating disorders, but it felt like the issue was overshadowed and not properly handled.  It also seemed quite unrealistic that Dana would be given the opportunity to be part of a singing quartet with no formal training, other than dancing and singing in her friend's living room.

I did enjoy Katie's writing, as I did with the previous books, and am already looking forward to picking up her next book.  I still liked this one, even though it didn't wow me like her previous books.

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

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4/11/17

Literally - Lucy Keating

I first heard about Lucy Keating last year, when I saw the beautiful cover of Dreamology all over Bookstagram.  Although I haven't picked up that book, the premise of Literally drew me in and I knew that I wanted to give Lucy's books a shot.

As a former English student, I loved the metafiction aspect of this book.  Annabelle, our main character, discovers that she's actually a character in a story, and the author makes an appearance in the book when Annabelle finds out that Lucy is controlling her life in order to create a Happy Ending.  There's so much excellent commentary on what makes a good story -- from happy endings to love triangles and everything in between.

If you haven't guessed from the amount of reading nerdiness on this blog, I am a massive book nerd and this book warmed my nerdy heart.  Annabelle's character irked me a little at the beginning of the book, but quickly grew on me and I found myself tearing through this short, sweet little book.

For those of you who like your contemporaries short and sweet, this book is perfect.  And if you're a literary connoisseur, you'll enjoy this book even more =)

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

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